Tag: Southern Holdings


The Tangled Web of Southern Holdings – Update

Any time you get close to an issue that stems from the original Southern Holdings lawsuit, the tangled web of deception grows.

The latest involves a hearing before S.C. District Court Judge Doyet A. Early, scheduled for Wednesday August 20, 2014, to hear Emergency Omnibus Motions to Compel the production of a settlement agreement for the Southern Holdings case that includes demonstration of “informed consent” by each of the original Southern Holdings plaintiffs.

The existence of an “informed consent” settlement agreement is required by state and federal law to demonstrate that attorney John Rakowsky, who represented the original seven Southern Holdings plaintiffs, had the “informed consent” of his clients to settle the Southern Holdings case.

Southern Holdings and Public Corruption

Public corruption cases are all the news in South Carolina lately and it’s time for the name Southern Holdings to be as scrutinized as Harrell, Metts or Pinson among others.

The Southern Holdings case stems from actions by the Horry County Sheriff’s Department and Horry County Police Department in June 2000 and August 2000, as well as subsequent events.

Southern Holdings, Inc. and several stockholders of this closely held corporation are plaintiffs in the case. Horry County, Horry County Police Department, Horry County Sheriff’s Department and various individuals are defendants in the case.

Any time you study an issue that evolves from the original Southern Holdings case, you get tangled in a web of lies, deceit and public corruption.

A Brief Shining Moment for Southern Holdings Plaintiffs

Sunshine broke through into a S.C. Circuit Courtroom yesterday highlighting at least one brief shining moment for the plaintiffs of the original Southern Holdings lawsuit.

Judge Doyet A. Early, III showed his courtroom follows the law, which, especially for the original Southern Holdings plaintiffs through the years, has been all too rare. He held forth as a judge who is not interested in the corrupt backroom deals that often smear the S.C. legal system, but, rather, in the truth.

As a result of Judge Early’s decisions yesterday, attorneys John Rakowsky and Adrian Falgione will have to answer questions, both will be deposed and discovery will move forward in the Rakowsky v. Falgione et al interpleader action.

S.C. Legal System on Trial at High Noon

A noon hearing in a Columbia court room could go a long way to proving how much legitimacy should be attached to what passes for a legal system in South Carolina.

The issues aren’t big on their surface – a simple motions hearing on several motions associated with an interpleader action.

An interpleader action originates when a party holds property on behalf of another but does not know to whom the property should be transferred. It asks the court to make the decision.

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

SC DSS Scrutiny, Doris Holt and Southern Holdings

A SC Senate subcommittee investigation into DSS brings to mind the case of Doris Holt and its ties to the Southern Holdings lawsuit.

The Senate subcommittee this week began an investigation into what is described as “major problems” at the SC Department of Social Services (DSS), the agency that supposedly handles the welfare of children and families.

At the top of the list of DSS failings were a large number of child deaths in cases where DSS was already involved.

This investigation is long overdue of an agency whose goals do not appear to complement its mission.

John R Rakowsky ESQ

Southern Holdings Settlement Check Saga – Corrected

A settlement check issued by the state of South Carolina for the Southern Holdings case plaintiffs wound up nine months later in the account of an attorney not connected to the case.

After six years in litigation where the state Insurance Reserve Fund spent several million dollars on lawyers defending the case, a rushed “settlement” was allegedly arranged between lawyers for the plaintiff and lawyers for the defendants.

The alleged settlement took place behind closed doors with the federal trial judge, after jury selection was complete.

Southern Holdings Interpleader in Court Today

Another hearing on litigation funds held over from the Southern Holdings case will be held in court in Richland County today.

This case has been ongoing since 2008, after the Southern Holdings plaintiffs tried to get the remaining funds held by their attorneys, Lexington chief magistrate judge John Rakowsky and co-counsel Adrian Falgione, released.

However, as with everything that touches the Southern Holdings case, this hearing will inevitably leave more questions than it will provide answers.

Even the amount of the funds in question remains very much a mystery. There appears to be at least $60,000 missing from Rakowsky’s accounting.

John Weaver Running for County Council?

Several reliable sources have recently mentioned that former county administrator and county attorney John Weaver is considering a run against incumbent Paul Price for the Horry County District 5 seat.

Weaver left his final position as county administrator after a majority of council refused to extend his contract and encouraged him to leave five months before the expiration date of the contract.

It would be extremely interesting to see Weaver enter the political spotlight considering some of his past positions on important county issues.

Southern Holdings and Rogue Attorneys

When I read a recent article about two rogue attorneys in the South Carolina who had stolen money from their clients, I immediately thought of the Southern Holdings case.

I have been reporting on the Southern Holdings case for a number of years including where an attorney has failed to account for over $100,000 entrusted to him by clients.

An accounting for expense funds in the Southern Holdings case provided Sep. 15, 2011, to James Spencer, former CEO of Southern Holdings, Inc., does not conform to S.C. reporting requirements for attorney trust funds.

Office of Disciplinary Counsel Failing Citizens

A legal system is only as good as the people charged with overseeing it. In South Carolina that is the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which operates under the auspices of the S.C. Supreme Court and its Chief Justice.

The S.C. Judicial Department apparently agrees. Consider this high sounding statement from the Judicial Department regarding the ODC:

“Regulating the conduct of both judges and lawyers is critical to preserving the integrity of the South Carolina judicial system and to instilling public confidence in the administration of justice. In South Carolina, the task of regulating both judges and lawyers falls to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel,…”